Experienced Lions overcome UCC Bombers
The Mardyke Sports Grounds played host to last Friday night’s head to head between the UCC Bombers and the Leeside Lions, in the annual Rebel Shield. It promised to be an exciting, close game and it did not disappoint.
For the majority of the UCC team it was their first ever AFL game, against a Leeside Lions side who can be argued as one of the best AFL teams in Europe, who won 2 of the last 3 Irish Premierships in a row.
The Lions experience and skill clearly showed when they gained an early lead in the first quarter, scoring 3 goals and a few behinds unanswered by the Bombers.
However, the Bombers were not disheartened, as they fought their way back into the game in the second quarter. Conor Nagle consolidated the Bombers backline and with Kieran English, Evan Carroll, John Landers, Eoin Cassidy and Marcus Prendeville they shut down the Lions forwards. David Galvin lead the mids with a string of link up plays and great marks with Cathal Curran, Cian O’Mahony, David Horgan, and Alan Daly. Not forgetting Shane Collins who began to gain dominance in the ruck-man position. The Bombers scored an impressive 4 goals and a number of behinds as opposed to the 2 goals and more behinds by the Lions. The Bombers were within a score of the Lions.
In the third quarter, known as the premiership quarter where games are won and lost, the game tightened up with neither side wanting to give an inch. Now that the Bombers mids were able to progress with the ball up the pitch to the ever improving forwards of Jack Murphy, Luke Crowley, Eoin Kelly and Cian Murphy lead by the experienced James Daly and Shane Quigley who kept the Bombers score-line ticking over. However, the Lions did not give up and responded to every score the Bombers made.
Finally, in the fourth quarter the Bombers showed their youth and fitness as they kept on attacking the ever tiring Lions. However, unlucky behinds for the Bombers and crucial goals by the experienced Lions resulted in them holding onto the lead and taking the win in the first leg of the competition. The final score was the Leeside Lions 9:10 (64) to the UCC Bombers 7:5 (47).
No doubt the Bombers will be back again in the second leg stronger and with a bit more experience to try and take down the Lions for the coveted Rebel Shield!
Pictures by: Emma Lynch Photography